Getting lots of sleep is a difficult task in its own right, but all the sleep in the world can only take you so far if it is not deep sleep.
At times when assignments come thick and fast or when exams are on the horizon, the value of restful sleep becomes particularly high for college students. It is accepted that most adults need between seven and nine hours, although the ideal will ultimately depend on the lifestyle of the individual. Within those hours of bedtime, it is crucial to slip into a deep sleep.
This is the type of shuteye that is essential if you are to wake up feeling refreshed. You cycle through non-REM and REM sleep throughout the night, with deep sleep occurring in the latter stages of the non-REM sleep. In this period, you are at your most relaxed and therefore become difficult to disturb.
Regular interruptions that prevent the cycle from reaching its deep sleep stage can cause the individual to miss out on vital cognitive benefits that come from a restful night.
For example, deep sleep is integral to consolidating short-term and long-term memory – so you can see why it is especially important during exam periods! It also has a range of health benefits, including heightened cell regeneration and tissue repair.
While it can be difficult to monitor your sleeping habits night by night, you may be able to spot trends developing over a longer spell. If you’re regularly waking up and not feeling refreshed, it could be linked to a lack of deep sleep.
In that situation, it may be worth consulting a sleep expert. However, there are steps you can take to self-regulate your sleeping habits. Here are a few things to consider if you believe you are getting insufficient deep sleep to support your college life.
It can be challenging to find a stable routine at college. Your desired wake-up time may be tailored to variations in your timetable, while social occasions can also inhibit your chances of a consistent sleeping pattern. However, you should try and establish the most regular sleeping routine that you can.
Even if you can’t commit to the same bedtime and waking time every day, find calming activities that you always complete before bed. This could range from taking a bath to listening to relaxing music.
Clear your mind
Impose a no-screen policy in the bedroom – with our phones connected to social media and emails, it can be difficult to switch off from real-world problems. Some people use CBD for sleep to relax their mind before bed, with ingested cannabidiol acting on serotonin receptors in the body, which helps us feel soothed and relieves anxiety.
If you can’t quieten your thoughts and end up feeling restless in bed, then don’t just lie there. Get up, do something distracting (a book or a podcast can be effective), then return to bed. On the other hand, if you need help in dealing with stress, depression, grief, or anxiety, you can consult an experienced mental health counselor, just like one of the therapists from BetterHelp.
Here’s a shocking piece of news: Lots of caffeine before bed is not conducive to a restful night of sleep. When you’re a few hours from bedtime, try to solely drink water. Also, where possible, avoid tucking into dinner just before you head to bed. If you find that deep sleep is a struggle, it may be worth experimenting with reducing the level of carbohydrates in your diet. Daily exercise is also crucial in tiring yourself out.
While it is difficult to establish a method that guarantees deep sleep, these techniques could help you improve your chances of feeling more refreshed for each new day of studying.